Wow wee oh my - trying to hack away at my £54k debt (was even about to book a holiday)

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  • Rainbowtrousers
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    Hello team. So last month I more or less stayed in budget. At the weekend I spent the large sum of £3.30 total which is just incredible when you think about it. I ate food I already had in and walked where possible to see friends.

    I am shocked that in a month where we could do very little I still struggled to stay within £805.

    Here is where is went:

    Hot yoga (£53) - I have not used this yet

    £136 was paying back the overspend from October so not sure if I should have done that

    322 on food

    70 chimney sweep

    160 cleaner

    31.20 on coffees and hot chocs

    That is slightly under £805 but I did not have any cash left. I think the rest must have gone on food too.

    Cleaner goes down to every other week from December so £100 per month.

    Any thoughts welcomed team :)

  • joedenise
    joedenise Posts: 16,615 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
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    I would actually suggest a spending diary so you can track where the actual cash has been spent.  Anything you put on a card can be more easily tracked although things like food probably ought to be tracked as well to see where you are wasting money - £322 on food seems a lot for someone on their own (I think you're on your own, aren't you?). I thought I spent a lot, about £250 but that is for 2 of us so less than half per person than you spent this money.  £31.20 on coffee and hot choc seem high too.  Could you not cut this back a bit or take your own in a flask?

    Of course it's a one-off payment for the chimney sweep so you won't have that spend every month and you're cutting back your cleaner so that will save a bit too.

  • Rainbowtrousers
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    joedenise said:
    I would actually suggest a spending diary so you can track where the actual cash has been spent.  Anything you put on a card can be more easily tracked although things like food probably ought to be tracked as well to see where you are wasting money - £322 on food seems a lot for someone on their own (I think you're on your own, aren't you?). I thought I spent a lot, about £250 but that is for 2 of us so less than half per person than you spent this money.  £31.20 on coffee and hot choc seem high too.  Could you not cut this back a bit or take your own in a flask?

    Of course it's a one-off payment for the chimney sweep so you won't have that spend every month and you're cutting back your cleaner so that will save a bit too.

    Thanks for commenting. Out of interest, How is a spending diary different from going through my monzo account (where my budget gets transferred to each month) at the end of each month? 
  • astrocytic_kitten
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    On the spending diary, I find tracking spends as they happen gives an extra check to what I’m doing - knowing I’m going to have to enter it and see the budget categories reducing as a result of the spend (I use YNAB which I’m evangelical about, it’s made such a difference) makes me think whether I really need to spend the money or not.

    Tapping the card and letting it automatically reconcile, or knowing you don’t have to think about it till the end of the month, doesn’t do the same thing for me.

    When are you mostly drinking the coffees and hot chocs - are they a social thing with friends / work / just needing to get out the house?
    Debt at LBM (Dec 2018): £23,167
    Debt free Feb 2021
  • enthusiasticsaver
    enthusiasticsaver Posts: 15,688 Ambassador
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 1 December 2020 at 3:05PM
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    Great news on the extra work and hopefully being able to pay off credit cards and part of the car finance by next Spring. I think although renting your place out will obviously give you more income that would be the last thing I would consider unless forced to. Look forward to seeing your November spends. Mine were scarily high due to car costs, work on our garden and Christmas spends. All budgeted for though. 
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free Wannabe, Budgeting and Banking and Savings and Investment boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • joedenise
    joedenise Posts: 16,615 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
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    joedenise said:
    I would actually suggest a spending diary so you can track where the actual cash has been spent.  Anything you put on a card can be more easily tracked although things like food probably ought to be tracked as well to see where you are wasting money - £322 on food seems a lot for someone on their own (I think you're on your own, aren't you?). I thought I spent a lot, about £250 but that is for 2 of us so less than half per person than you spent this money.  £31.20 on coffee and hot choc seem high too.  Could you not cut this back a bit or take your own in a flask?

    Of course it's a one-off payment for the chimney sweep so you won't have that spend every month and you're cutting back your cleaner so that will save a bit too.

    Thanks for commenting. Out of interest, How is a spending diary different from going through my monzo account (where my budget gets transferred to each month) at the end of each month? 
    A spending diary is different because it means you actually need to list exactly what the money was spent on, not just a generic Food, Sweets etc.  Would make it easier to see where you are spending money that is a WANT and not a NEED so a loaf of bread would probably be a Need but a bar of chocolate would be a Want - the Wants are where you can cut back in order to save money.  Also means you can see exactly where your money is going.

  • Rainbowtrousers
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    On the spending diary, I find tracking spends as they happen gives an extra check to what I’m doing - knowing I’m going to have to enter it and see the budget categories reducing as a result of the spend (I use YNAB which I’m evangelical about, it’s made such a difference) makes me think whether I really need to spend the money or not.

    Tapping the card and letting it automatically reconcile, or knowing you don’t have to think about it till the end of the month, doesn’t do the same thing for me.

    When are you mostly drinking the coffees and hot chocs - are they a social thing with friends / work / just needing to get out the house?
    Ah so you have different pots within your budget ? Mine is all mixed in. I assume YNAB is an app? Hot chocs and coffees are a mix but mostly me just needing a pick me up and to chat to different peeps. I’d say of the 30 plus spent about 10 of that were hot chocs with friends that I really took my time with and enjoyed. The rest more just part of the old routine. 
  • Rainbowtrousers
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    joedenise said:
    Ah Rainbowtrousers said:
    joedenise said:
    I would actually suggest a spending diary so you can track where the actual cash has been spent.  Anything you put on a card can be more easily tracked although things like food probably ought to be tracked as well to see where you are wasting money - £322 on food seems a lot for someone on their own (I think you're on your own, aren't you?). I thought I spent a lot, about £250 but that is for 2 of us so less than half per person than you spent this money.  £31.20 on coffee and hot choc seem high too.  Could you not cut this back a bit or take your own in a flask?

    Of course it's a one-off payment for the chimney sweep so you won't have that spend every month and you're cutting back your cleaner so that will save a bit too.

    Thanks for commenting. Out of interest, How is a spending diary different from going through my monzo account (where my budget gets transferred to each month) at the end of each month? 
    A spending diary is different because it means you actually need to list exactly what the money was spent on, not just a generic Food, Sweets etc.  Would make it easier to see where you are spending money that is a WANT and not a NEED so a loaf of bread would probably be a Need but a bar of chocolate would be a Want - the Wants are where you can cut back in order to save money.  Also means you can see exactly where your money is going.

    Ah I see. Yes I could probably do with those in the moment logs of spending. 
  • enthusiasticsaver
    enthusiasticsaver Posts: 15,688 Ambassador
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    Hello team. So last month I more or less stayed in budget. At the weekend I spent the large sum of £3.30 total which is just incredible when you think about it. I ate food I already had in and walked where possible to see friends.

    I am shocked that in a month where we could do very little I still struggled to stay within £805.

    Here is where is went:

    Hot yoga (£53) - I have not used this yet

    £136 was paying back the overspend from October so not sure if I should have done that

    322 on food

    70 chimney sweep

    160 cleaner

    31.20 on coffees and hot chocs

    That is slightly under £805 but I did not have any cash left. I think the rest must have gone on food too.

    Cleaner goes down to every other week from December so £100 per month.

    Any thoughts welcomed team :)

    Getting rid of the cleaner is an easy win as if just you presumably the place cant get too dirty.  However I think reducing it is a good start to every other week.  £322 is more than 2 of us spend on food and we don't really budget that carefully with it.  There is a missing £30 from the £805 so presumably that £322 is closer to £350 which is astronomical for just one person. I could easily get it down to between £150 and £200 for two of us. Are you meal planning and cooking from scratch or is that convenience stuff? If it includes takeaways can you cut back on that?  Same with alcohol. I am not at all sure what hot yoga is but if you have not used it yet why are you paying for it? If the coffee and hot chocs are for meeting up with friends I actually think that is not too bad.  You start off with a disadvantage if you are starting with an overspend or overdraft so addressing that should be your first objective. 
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free Wannabe, Budgeting and Banking and Savings and Investment boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • Rainbowtrousers
    Options

    Hello team. So last month I more or less stayed in budget. At the weekend I spent the large sum of £3.30 total which is just incredible when you think about it. I ate food I already had in and walked where possible to see friends.

    I am shocked that in a month where we could do very little I still struggled to stay within £805.

    Here is where is went:

    Hot yoga (£53) - I have not used this yet

    £136 was paying back the overspend from October so not sure if I should have done that

    322 on food

    70 chimney sweep

    160 cleaner

    31.20 on coffees and hot chocs

    That is slightly under £805 but I did not have any cash left. I think the rest must have gone on food too.

    Cleaner goes down to every other week from December so £100 per month.

    Any thoughts welcomed team :)

    Getting rid of the cleaner is an easy win as if just you presumably the place cant get too dirty.  However I think reducing it is a good start to every other week.  £322 is more than 2 of us spend on food and we don't really budget that carefully with it.  There is a missing £30 from the £805 so presumably that £322 is closer to £350 which is astronomical for just one person. I could easily get it down to between £150 and £200 for two of us. Are you meal planning and cooking from scratch or is that convenience stuff? If it includes takeaways can you cut back on that?  Same with alcohol. I am not at all sure what hot yoga is but if you have not used it yet why are you paying for it? If the coffee and hot chocs are for meeting up with friends I actually think that is not too bad.  You start off with a disadvantage if you are starting with an overspend or overdraft so addressing that should be your first objective. 
    Thanks for replying again ES. You would be really surprised regarding the cleaner. I have a three bed place and it does just seem to get dirty. I have rented one room to my brother to use between 9-5 as an office for £200 p/m so he is here using the kitchen etc which seems to add to the mess. I would just rather spend that time working if i can or relaxing. So with the food i never ever get takeaways (maybe 2/3 times per year) and i rarely drink (maybe a bottle of wine per month). The reason i spend loads is that i just buy high quality meat etc. I probably spent £30 per week in the butcher alone. I have started to buy in bulk when there are offers on and shop using own brands so i think this will go down .... My mindset is definitely changing. I only really buy tesco own brand now for most things ... just not the meat! Ah so with the hot yoga i paid for 10 passes for 160 two months ago and thats the last payment for that (53 per month back to my main account). I will use the passes in the coming weeks. Noted on the hot chocs. I could probably save those for the ones where i am meeting a friend and ditch the ones i get on the hop that i do not really get great value from. This time last year i was probably having 2 meals out a week with friends in the run up to xmas and spending 150 each time. Makes me shocked and a bit sad to be totally honest!
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